14th February is a day which has become synonymous with a sea of red roses up and down the country, extravagant proposals and pledges of undying affection. However, according to new research from Walnut Unlimited, this love affair is now officially over.
According to the research, which questioned 2,053 people over the age of 18 from across Great Britain, 64% will not be marking the occasion at all this year.
When asked why, the responses that came back included “it’s silly and merely a commercial excuse to exploit fools”, “a ridiculous celebration” and “all a big con”. 90% agreed that they did not need a special day to celebrate their love at all and 52% of those who label themselves as in a relationship have made no plans.
When asked why they won’t be celebrating, one respondent revealed: “We celebrate our love whenever we want to, not when a card company says we should” while another stated “if you want to be romantic, it should be spontaneous”.
Despite this, the traditional hype is all around us, with major supermarkets such a Tesco and Waitrose offering special meal deals – and Marks and Spencer creating seasonal specials such as their Love Sausage. Online retailers Amazon and Lovehoney are offering discounts and even Airbnb has cut its prices for those looking for a last-minute getaway.
In 2015, sales of Valentine’s Day gifts came in at £460 million, which rose to £650 million in 2018. But brands beware; 89% of Walnut’s respondents this year agreed that the day had become too commercialised. Instagram has been widely accused of making the day too expensive, with Rich Kids of Instagram accounts flaunting gifts of designer lingerie, diamonds and even supercars, and more roses than the average ‘grammer’ will see in a lifetime.
The pressure that social media pushes on young people to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ is also reflected in Walnut’s data with 51% of 18-24-year olds saying that they have made plans this year, markedly more than the 34% of 45-54-year olds. Those in longer term relationships of ten or more years also feel less need to celebrate with 38% saying they would be doing something, compared to 79% of those in a relationship of less than two years.
However, despite such negativity, romance isn’t completely dead, with 43% of men and 34% of women who have made plans saying they would celebrate because they want to do ‘something nice’ for the person they are celebrating with. When asked why they are celebrating, one respondent confided that it is “the only day my partner does something for me”.
So, forget April 1st as Walnut Unlimited’s research clearly proves that February 14th is no longer about love, it is now the day for fools.
Source: Walnut Unlimited